From Small blue-green pla — 06/19/2008
I have been in the Navy for 12 years; I’m a Chief Hospital Corpsman (E-7). I am also an Independent Duty Corpsman; it’s the only medical job in the United States where you can practice medicine without a license. I've worked hard, I've made many sacrifices, I’ve made friends and built a life I enjoyed and then had to pick it up and start all over someplace else(more than once). I've second and third guessed myself and my career choices many times...In fact, I found this site while searching for other employment, but every time I look into leaving military, I start missing it.
If you’re thinking about joining, please your research! A lot of people, who don’t like their military occupations, just aren’t a good fit for the job that THEY chose themselves! Of course there are some exceptions, but I ANY job has its ups and downs… Just read comments about any company on this website and you’ll forget what company they were talking about!
Pay- When you first come in, you go to school, you get paid, and all of your basic needs are met. After about 3 years, If you perform, keep a good attitude, and don’t get in trouble…you’ll get promoted. If you decide to stay in it becomes more completive, as with any job, the higher you go the fewer the positions.
Respect- Everybody needs to feel what they are doing is important and that they are a valued member of a team. It’s hard when you are the new guy cleaning the toilet…something I learned early on was to have another activity outside of work that makes you feel good when you might not feel fully utilized at work.
Work/Life- This can vary… when I was attached to a Marine battalion, we got 4 day weekends every holiday and then sometimes we got off on a weekday for no real reason at all. Then other times when I worked in a Hospital, I remember working Christmas, New Years and Thanksgiving….If you are deployed overseas, you may work every day of the week, for months on end! In my job rating, you get to transfer every 3 years (only in some jobs, do your research). I’ve never worked for the same boss for more than a year! How many people can say that!
Location/work environment- North Carolina, California, Hawaii, Japan, Haiti, Kenya, Korea, Europe, Philippines, Guam, and the sand box, been to them all, can't say I loved every place, but hey, it's the Navy, you may get to travel.
Co-workers- More than anything else, I love the people. The military is as diverse as modern society itself. My co-workers become my family. I entered the Navy as a corn-fed, narrow minded, white kid from the mid-west. Today, I feel I have lived, experienced, and seen more than ten lifetimes could ever imagine. My best advice is to choose a job rating you looked into(not something you saw in a movie), give it few years… you may never want to leave. Cheers!